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New electric vehicle charging station funded through Volkswagen trust

Missouri’s first electric vehicle station funded through an environmental mitigation trust from Volkswagen was unveiled in Kingdom City Thursday.

Operated by Callaway Electric Cooperative, the station is located at the FastLane Convenience Store in Kingdom City. The project was one of nine stations awarded funding through Missouri’s Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust in 2020. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Acting Director Dru Buntin touted the station as a victory for electric vehicle drivers in the state. 

“We are excited about the opening of Missouri’s first electric vehicle charging station built with VW Trust funding,” Buntin said. “It is a major milestone for this important project that represents a real victory for electronic vehicle drivers in Missouri, whether they are residents or visitors.”

The station features CHAdeMO fast-charging equipment and CCS1 Combo plugs which can deliver up to 350 kilowatts of power. 

Other stations are in the works in Columbia, Bethany, Cameron, Concordia, Sikeston, Joplin, Tarkio, and Springfield. DNR is accepting applications for projects in Perryville, Rolla, Nevada, and Harrisonville later this year. 

As the lead agency in charge of the trust fund, DNR developed a roadmap to invest more than $40 million in Missouri-specific projects through 2027. Other projects include renewable energy investments for buses, airports, trains, and marine transportation. 

The trusts are available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., due to a 2016 settlement that required Volkswagen to satisfy its environmental mitigation commitments. Beneficiaries of the trust — in Missouri’s case, DNR — are responsible for choosing eligible projects to invest in. 

Electric vehicles and accommodations have become more prominent across the Show-Me State as companies and the government shift their focus to renewable energy sources. The first electric school bus in the state is active in Knox County thanks to a collaboration between DNR and the Lewis County Electric Cooperative. 

Investor-owned utilities have joined the push as well; the Kansas City area has focused on zero-emission mass transit with two new electric buses unveiled by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority in partnership with Evergy. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver also requested federal funds for additional electric buses in the area as Congress works its way through next year’s budget. 

Ameren Missouri is also expanding its array of charging stations; a new station in the capital city was among 11 projects on deck for the company last year with three more due for installation in 2021.

Image provided by DNR.